Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Jedward back anti-bullying campaign

Jedward appear bruised and battered in the posters launched by the Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children
MTV presenter Laura Whitmore poses as an assault victim in a hard-hitting campaign against bullying

Jedward and Westlife star Mark Feehily have posed as assault victims in a hard-hitting campaign against bullying.

The pop stars appear bruised and battered in the posters launched by children's campaigners.

MTV presenter Laura Whitmore, X Factor judge Louis Walsh and actress Saoirse Ronan have also been photographed as part of the series of images launched in Dublin by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC).

Westlife singer Feehily, who came up with the idea, said he was inspired by his own personal experiences of bullying when he was younger.

"I know at first hand how the impact of being bullied as a teenager can quite literally last a lifetime and I thought that if we could involve well-known ISPCC ambassadors perhaps people will think twice about bullying or indeed allowing bullying to happen," he said.

All those who took part in the campaign gave their services for free, including the celebrities, photographer Barry McCall, make-up artist Tom McInerney and several advertising agencies.

"Everyone involved believes strongly that the message that emanates from each shot is a simple one," said Feehily.

"Bullying and abuse, whether verbal, physical or emotional, is unacceptable in today's society."

The ISPCC warned bullying can have a devastating impact on the self-esteem, mental health and sense of belonging of children.

Last year the Childline service received around 2,300 calls and messages every day from young people, with almost a quarter of these contacts relating to abuse and welfare, including bullying and issues around mental health.

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